Sean O'Casey and Radical Theatre

Terry Phillips

Abstract

Sean O’Casey’s work after the Dublin trilogy has been neglected to a great extent by both theatre audiences and literary critics. This essay considers three plays which address specifically Irish issues, The Silver Tassie (1926), The Star Turns Red (1940) and Red Roses for Me (1943). Taken together, they may be understood as a radical response to successive counter-revolutionary indigenous governments: Cumann Na nGaedheal (1922-1932) and Fianna Fáil (1932-1948). The essay concludes that these plays ground the case for O’Casey as a radical Irish playwright—socially, politically and aesthetically.


Keywords

Christian socialism, experimental theatre, political theatre

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/1448